Hinderman: Geocaching in Orland Park
By Laura Hinderman Citizen Journalistfirstname.lastname@example.org July 19, 2012 1:56PM
Orland Park Boy Scout Troop 383 members (from left) Jaden Mossman, Joey Scuderi and Jack Barrett look for Geochallenge 2012 sites in the village. | Supplied Photo
Updated: August 23, 2012 6:08AM
Navigating Orland Park can be a daunting task, what with the road enhancements (read: closures), daily lane changes and detours.
But people are discovering a totally different type of navigation. You still might need a GPS, however, the destinations are fun and interesting. Think of it as an Orland Park treasure hunt where you explore and learn many facts about the village in which you live.
Geocaching, is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called ‘geocaches’ or ‘caches.’
And now, “the world” includes locations in and around Orland Park.
Geocaches are not buried, and more than 1.3 million of them are hidden worldwide. Geocaches range from extremely small containers, like 35mm film canisters, to large boxes. They can contain many things, including a log book to sign your name, tradable trinkets for kids and more.
Members of Orland Park Boy Scout Troop 383, which includes scouts from School Districts 135, 140 and 146 and St. Germaine in Oak Lawn, decided to organize the event. Scoutmaster Gerry Klotz and his son, senior patrol leader Tim Klotz, plus members of Troop 383, coordinated Orland Park Geochallenge 2012 to commemorate the village’s 120th anniversary.
“When we learned about the historical geochallenge they did in Port Orford, Ore., we thought this would be a great project for Troop 383 to put together for Orland Park,” Klotz said.
He said they also felt the community service project would be a great way to encourage people to learn about the village’s history and spend time outdoors.
The scouts researched 20 landmarks in Orland Park, then divided into teams to visit each to get the GPS coordinates and create the challenge questions.
The scouts suggest participants follow the geochaching mantra of “cache in/trash out,” and the Boy Scouts’ “leave no trace” guidelines, encouraging participants to pick up trash if they find any at sites.
To participate, pick up the Orland Park Geochallenge 2012 brochure at the village hall, 14700 S. Ravinia Ave., or download it at www.orland-park.il.us. The brochure contains the coordinates and a question pertaining to each landmark.
The challenge is to visit Orland Park landmarks and answer a question about each. Participants will visit points of interest and learn about the community’s history during the challenge.
Troop 383 brought the project to the village, and Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin offered to personally pay for the Geochallenge prizes.
“This is a great project, and we’re excited that Troop 383 created it to help celebrate the village’s anniversary,” McLaughlin said in a news release. “This is an activity that residents of all ages can enjoy as they explore the village and learn more about the community’s history.”
Prizes generally consist of small traded trinkets that are collected at each site and left for the next visitor.
Orland Park Trustee James Dodge, chair of the village’s technology, communication and community engagement committee, praised the scouts for their initiative in creating the Geochallenge.
Information about the challenge is available on www.geocaching.com, though participants need not be active geocachers or members of geocaching.com to participate. More information about Orland Park Boy Scout Troop 383 is available by emailing email@example.com.
Participants who correctly answer all 20 historical questions must return the completed challenge brochure to village hall to receive a prize.
Orland Park Geochallenge 2012 will continue until all prizes are awarded.